Search billions of records on


                                                           Sextonville Cemetery
                                                                       AKA Oakwood Cemetery

                                                         Buena Vista Township, Richland County, Wisconsin  USA

      Note: Three different Issues below July 21, 1955,  April 12, 1956 & July 31, 1958                    

Tales The Tombstone Tell  Republican Observer  July 21, 1955

                                                          "Killed by a Whale"

    So reads the inscription upon the tombstone in the Sextonville cemetery. The inscription is for James McCorkle and were he alive today he would be 132 years old. James is not buried beneath the stone but was left where he went down to his death far, far away. The stone read:

    Charles M., son of J. and L.A. McCorkle, Died Jan. 25, 1854, aged 26 years.

    James, born January 1, 1823, Killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan May 25, 1848, aged 25 years and five months.

    From a history of the McCorkle family, we learned that some of the family were seafaring men. Two of them, William and Samuel were captains of whaling vessels and Joseph was First Mate upon the ship of Captain Samuel, and that James was killed by charging whale which upset a small boat and the occupants were drowned.

    James put out to sea as a member of the crew on a hunt for whales. He was a young man when he first went to sea and when the ship upon which he sailed slipped out of port on a long journey, James, filled with the love of adventure, was no doubt in high glee. Adventure upon the high seas, strange ports of call, new lands, were all ahead. It was spring time back home as the whaling ship with full sail, entered the Sea of Japan. Whales had been sighted and two or three killed. The crew, in high spirit looked ahead for a record kill. May 25, 1848, dawned and the rolling waves tossed the ship about. "There it spouts" rang out from the watch, a small boat was lowered and some eight or ten members of the crew took after the whale; a harpoon was thrown which hit the mark and the wounded whale charged the small boat, upsetting it and throwing the occupants into the restless sea and the crew of the small boat sank beneath the waves to be seen no more.

    James' body was never recovered and for all we know is still over in the Sea of Japan, yet a stone in his memory is in the Sextonville cemetery.

    In looking up the story of James McCorkle we found interesting facts about other members of the McCorkle family. For instance:

    William McCorkle, one of the whale hunters mentioned above, was born in New York City January 1, 1819, and remained with his parents until he was 15 when he worked in stores for some six years. Liking the life of the sea he made whale hunting his calling until 1855. During that time he sailed around the world six times and was once wrecked on the coast of South America. Meanwhile his brother Andrew had come to Wisconsin and to Richland county in 1851. William, accompanied by three other brothers Samuel, Robert and Charles, came to Sextonville to visit Andrew. William took up his home in Sexonville in 1857 and engaged in the mercantile trade. Andrew remained in the county for a time and was married to Rebecca daughter of Mr. and Mrs. E.M. Sexton.

    Joseph C. McCorkle, mate on a whaling vessel in his younger days, came to Richland county in 1862. He made two sea voyages and was absent from home 35 months each trip. Joseph was married May 14 1862, to Letitia daughter of Jacob and Elizabeth (McCloud) Krouskop. They were the parents of five children, Carrie Belle, William S., later county judge; Jacob, Samuel and George, the last named is now a reside of Richland Center.
    Charles M. McCorkle, upon whose tombstone the lines in memory of James appears, an unmarried man, settled with other members of the family at Sextonville. He was elected as register of deeds for Richland county in November, 1852. Being of delicate health he passed on before his term of office expired, consumption being the cause of his death. Before he passed away he expressed a wish to be buried on the crest of Nourse's Bluff, a tall hill near his home. He was so buried but later his body was removed to the Sextonville cemetery, where the stone, mentioned at the beginning of this article, marks the spot and also keeps in memory the death of James McCorkle who, killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan.

    Samuel, another brother and a hunter of whales, also came to Richland county and settled near Sextonville. Later on he moved to Loyd where he opened a store and conducted a hotel. He was a captain on a whale hunting ship and it must have been strange to he and his brothers to come to Richland county and settle down to a quiet life far away from the ocean.

    "Capt. Samuel," so his tombstone up in the Richland Center cemetery reads, "was born Sept. 18, 1825, and died May 16, 1898." He was married to Mary H. Rogers, she, also with their son Edwin R., are buried on the lot with Captain Samuel.  A daughter is also buried close by, she became the wife of Dr. E.P. Kermott, a well known Richland Center physician who at one time practiced at Loyd.

    Quite a bit of history is brought to light by the tales that the tombstones tell.

    The Sexonville cemetery was surveyed in 1852 by Joseph Irish. The land was donated by Charles DeVoe and the first burial to be made therein was the remains of Mrs. George Reed.


Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - April 12, 1956

                                    "Buried at Duncans Mills, California"

    So it reads on a tombstone in the Sextonville cemetery. But say tales from Duncans Mills the tombstone is not correct. The story is an odd one, and concerns Van Buren McCollum and was written by Joseph Schafer, was principal of the Sextonville schools back in 1891-92 and later became head of the Wisconsin Historical Society. Assisting Mr. Schafer in preparing the story was Charles McCollum, a nephews of Van Buren McCollum.
    The stone in the Sextonville cemetery reads: "Van Buren McCollum, born June 7, 1835, died June 7, 1899. Buried at Duncans Mills, California." That is the short and simple inscription upon the stone. To learn if he was buried at Duncans Mills or not the pages of time are turned back over the years.
    From now on the story is written by Mr. Schafer and Charles McCollum: "Many of the McCollum family came to Sextonville and Twin Bluffs away back when. There was however one exception. Sometime in the fall of 1891 the sleepy little community of Sextonville awoke to the presence within their midst of a genuine adventurer. He was a stocky bearded man, who already seemed old to us young people but who could not have been over 45 years. He was referred to as one of the McCollums who for many years had lived in distant and little known foreign land and who was now making a first visit in a generation to his parents and kindred in his old Wisconsin home. Friends called him 'Van', his full name was Van Buren.
    The adventurer remained in the Sextonville community during the winter and in the spring went away, we assumed to his island home in the South Pacific among the Polynesians and a few French, who made that region their home, or at least their stopping place. Forty-eight years later this writer (Joseph Schafer), recalling some of the tales then heard about Van McCollum, wondered if his story could be resurrected for the benefit of the State Historical Society of Wisconsin. A letter to Elmer McCollum, of Richland Center, a nephew of Van's, was relayed to Charles McCollum, Elmer's older brother, brought results and he supplied the sketch which in part follows:
    "Van Buren McCollum, the eldest son of Dr. Asa and Hodossah McCollum, was born in Leicester, Mass. He commenced his schooling in the public schools where some of the time Miss Clara Barton was the teacher. He applied himself to his books and became a great reader. This probably combined with his adventureous, roving disposition caused him to wander away (from Sextonville, his home from his 16th year) toward the setting sun, no more to see the home of his youth and friends 'till 30 or more years had passed by. He headed west to the Pacific coast.
    "He was a wonderfully interesting letter writer and I (Charles McCollum ) was the official letter writer for the family.  Not strange that my first correspondent was this far away uncle, to me so endowed with romance and mysticism. I was always happy to write to him and I never lost my childhood interest in him and we kept up a correspondence until his death. When my letter writing days were at hand he was located at Tar-o-hae, Marquesas islands. These are the islands so rapturously sung by poets, were a fitting abode for my poet uncle, and he was very happy there.
    "During a South Sea Island cruise by Robert Louis Steverson, the two exchanged poems and Stevenson sent my uncle a poem describing him as 'Bard McCollum.'
    "In 1891 Van visited his parents, sisters and brothers, whom he had not seen for 30 years, at the old Sextonville home. It was a happy reunion and all the family rejoiced over the wandered's return. His father died that winter of influenza. Van contracted the disease, and it left him with a bronchial infection from which he never recovered. In the spring he returned to his beloved islands, feeling sure the balmy climate would restore his health, but it failed to do so completely. He stopped over at Duncans Mills, California, among the redwoods and went on to the island. In 1899 he was so ill that he decided to return to Wisconsin where he would be with his relatives. When he reached San Francisco he decided to go to Duncans Mills again. There he died June 7, 1899, on his 64th birthday. The kindly old man had made many friends at Duncans Mills and he was shown great respect.
    "Realtives who visited his grave found it covered with calla lilies. However, death did not stop his travels, for eventually his grave, was found open and the body gone. He had been regarded with much love by the native islanders and a party of them came searching for the grave. They learned where he had, been laid to rest and it is thought that they opened the grave and took the body back to the palm studded islands. But this will never be known. It would be a fitting end to the story if we could record that the kindly old man was taken back to the isles he so dearly loved and laid to rest among the people to whom he had endeared himself."
    There the story ends. The tombstone in the Sextonville cemetery says he was buried at Duncans Mills, yet the grave contains no body and the island natives won't talk.
    As Robert Louis Stevenson once wrote a poem for Mr. McCollum it might be possible that, besides himself, he had Van in mind when he wrote this:
        "Under the wide and starry sky,
         Dig the grave and let me lie.
         Glad did I live and gladly, die
         And I laid me down with a will.
         This be the verse you grave for me:
         Here he lies where be longed to be;
         Home is the sailor, home from the sea,
         And the hunter home from the hill."
            Another Mystery
    The Sextonville cemetery contains another mystery of why some carvings are put upon monuments. On the stone which stands upon the grave of a woman is inscribed these words:
        Charlotte, wife of W. H. Atwood, Died April 15, 1864,
        aged 46 years.  Slighted on Earth but Accepted in Heaven
    It is the last seven words that cause wonderment. They mean
something but why were they put upon the stone? Do you know the story; if you do let us know.

S. F.

Tales The Tombstones Tell - Republican Observer - July 31, 1958

                                                           Sextonville Cemetery
    The Sextonville cemetery story is too long to be written in one part, as around it much lore and history of the early settlers of the area is woven and it will be made in three parts.

                                                                     PART ONE
   The Sextonville cemetery, well kept, has a background of history. Mention of it has been made in previous articles. Here is buried Charles M. McCorkle, who died on January 25, 1854, at the age of 26. He was register of deeds for Richland county, elected in 1852, but failed to serve out his term as he died while in office. On the same stone is noted the death of his brother James, who, it says upon the stone, was killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan, May 25, 1848, aged 25 years and 5 months. The marker is broken and lays upon the ground. Soon it will be a thing of the past as the elements will, in another ten years, have the wording so worn that they cannot be read. We have told of these two men previous and to the marker for V. D. McCollum, born in 1835 and died in 1899. It reads upon his marker that he was buried at Duncan Mills, California. However, it is claimed that natives from a South Pacific island, where he lived for some time, came to the Duncan Mills cemetery, secured the body and took it back to the island.
    The Sextonville cemetery is an interesting one as buried there are the bodies of folks who were early, early settlers who became prominent in the affairs of the county.

    Charles DeVoe donated the land for the cemetery and in 1852 it was surveyed by Joseph Irish. The first burial was the body of Mrs. George Reed, who passed on July 18, 1851, before the cemetery was surveyed. Her given name was Almina, and she was born in 1831.
    There are many names upon the markers and monuments such as: Warner, Thompson, Bloedow, Vest, Stroschine, Bates, Fells, Hole, Wilson, Knapp, Nichols, Blackman, Rabine, Van Deusen, Carter, McNurlin and Marden.
    Many graves have no markers or monuments and there are a few of the older ones that cannot be read.
    There are more names Nee, Pellett, Ingmire, Hapgood, Parduhn, Draheim, Lee, Wood, Waddell, Frankenhoff, Schuerman, Dunn, Poorman, Nelson, Barnett, Hicks, Masters, Post, Heinz, Fitzgerald, and Kilby.

    Jacob Kuykendall born in 1848, and his wife Nellie, are here. He died in 1930 and she in 1929. William Snyder, it says upon his marker, was born in New York in 1836; came to Sextonville in the early 50s, died at his home near Loyd, April 29, 1907, aged 70 years, six months and five days. His wife, the former Elizabeth Warner, was born in Indiana in 1848, married to William Snyder, March 4, 1865, died at her home near Loyd, December 22, 1907, at the age of 59 years, two months and 22 days. On the stone it says:
            "Waiting for the loved ones who linger."

    H. H. Brittian, one of the early settlers of the Sextonville area, was a member of the U. S. Marine Corps. He died on April 14, 1896, at the age of 73. His wife, Esther, was the widow of A. J. Reed, who died in 1865. She married A. J. Reed in 1846 at Ottawa, Illinois, and they settled near Sextonville in 1849 and she passed away near Gotham June 8, 1907.
    Albert Ghastin, another of the old settlers, was born in 1829, and came to Wisconsin in 1845, settled near Sextonville in 1851, moved to Richland Center in 1882 where he died March 15, 1906. His wife, the former Eliza Coleman, was born in 1834 and died in 1927. Albert A. Ghastin, born in 1853 and died in 1925, is also buried here as is his wife Mary, who was born in 1857. He was a son of Albert Ghastin who was for many years, a well known veterinary surgeon.
     There is a marker here for Harvey Warner, born in 1822 and died in 1883; one for Mary Warner, born in 1825 and one for Martha Warner, born in 1846.
    John Kuykendall and his wife, Jennie, have a monument. He was a Civil War veteran, born in 1844 and died in 1910. Mrs. Kuykendall passed on September 3, 1887, at the age of 39. On her marker is this:
            "We have no mother now
             That faithful heart is stilled,
             The voice forever hushed,
             The lips forever chilled.
             We have no mother now,
             She sleeps beneath the sod;
             Her weary heart's at rest,
             Her spirit is with God."
    There is a home made marker which reads:
                    M. Manley

    A veteran of the War of 1812 found rest in this cemetery. He was Roland Bush, born in Massachusetts March 12, 1793, came to Richland County in 1850 and died March 23, 1886. A flag marks his grave. His wife Harriet, is by his side. She was born in 1796, and came with her family to Wisconsin in 1850, passing on in 1885.
    "Weep not as you stand around my grave."    It says upon the marker for Hugh Clinton who died April 20, 1885, at the age of 30.
    Eleanor Bailey, wife of Dr. A. Bailey, was only 37 years old when she passed away June 23, 1877.
    The Boyd family have several markers. Some members of the family are not here. Peter Boyd, born in 1819 and died in 1891, Mary Stevens, his wife, born in 1821, and died in 1892; James Henry Boyd, 1822-1911; Catherine DeVoe, his wife 1824-1897; Florence Boyd, 1854-1895; Charles Boyd, 1845-1858, all appear to be here. Adeline Boyd, wife of L. W. Cole, was born in 1843 and died in 1880, is buried at Republican City, Nebraska; Frank Boyd, born in 1860 and died in 1912, is buried at Gooding, Idaho; and Ellen Boyd, wife of Franklin Bush, is buried at Augusta, Wis. She was born in 1843. All this information concerning the family was gathered from the inscriptions upon the monuments and markers. Also on the marker for George Hoskins, who was born in New York in 1827, married in 1850 to Adeline Cole, kin of the Boyds, died in 1903. Adeline came to Sextonville in 1855 and died in Oconomowoc March 8, 1916.
        "A Gem for His Kingdom" is carved upon her marker.
    There is a stone here for John Collins, born in 1859 and died in 1951. Mr. Collins was an old hand at making sorghum and in season kept the pans boiling down at the county farm. He was also caretaker at the court house for some years. His wife, Eva, is buried on the same lot. She was born in 1859 and died in 1943.
    Charlotte, wife of W. H. Atwood, died April 15, 1864, at the age of 46 years, 8 months and 2 days. On her monument are these words:
            "Slighted on Earth but accepted in Heaven."
    Her husband had those words placed upon the marker.
    They resided on Bear Creek and moved to Sextonville where he operated a blacksmith shop. Following Mrs. Atwood's death he moved down near Eagle Corners where he died and was buried in the Basswood cemetery.
    Sylvano Bailey and his wife Lydia, were among the early born to come into the Sextonville area. He was born in 1804 and she in 1806. Mr. Bailey owned land a half mile south of Sextonville and the rock ledge is on what was known as Bailey's Bluff.
    Dr. William Telfair and his wife Sarah, are here among the friends of long, long ago. Dr. Telfair was a native of Scotland, born April 2, 1791; educated in the city of Edinburg and came to the United States when he was 25 years of age; spent some 40 years as a practicing physician at Cairo in the Catskill Mountains of New York. He came to Richland county in 1855 and lived at Sextonville until his death on
 March 20, 1858. His wife was born in 1803 and died in 1893.  There are markers on the lot for a son William, born in 1841 And died in 1886, and one for another son, M. E., born in 1834 and died in Minneapolis in 1898.
    There are a number of the Post family here. Joseph H., born in 1821 in the state of New York, came to Sextonville in 1850 and died in 1870. An I.O.O.F. emblem is on his tombstone. His wife was Mary De Voe. Joseph, with his family, came to Milwaukee in 1849, making the entire journey by team and then drove to near Sextonville where he settled. Two of his sons Luther W. and James are buried in the cemetery. Luther W. was the oldest of the children when his parents died and he took charge
of the household and cared for the younger members of the family.
    Guy Welton, for many, many years the town clerk of Orion, is here. He was born in 1891 and died in 1952.
    The DeVoe family came to Richland county from New York in 1850. Charles DeVoe, the pioneer, was born in 1801 in the Mohawk valley as was his wife, Catherine. Mr. DeVoe was a blacksmith by trade and had a coal pit.
    His house was said to be the first in the village and he was one of the first blacksmiths in the county. He followed his chosen profession until 1875 when he retired. He died at Sextonville in 1882 at the age of 81 years, eight months and three days. His wife died March 2, 1879 at the age of 80.
    On the monument are these lines:
            "Eighty full years of duty well done,
             Of life's cherished friendship
             It's shadows and fears,
             Of its joys and its sweetness
             The suffering and tears
             But now there is rest on the dear Lord's breast,
             And the rapture of Heaven's begun."

    Edwin DeVoe, a son of Charles and Catherine DeVoe, is here. He died in February, 1895, at the age of 73. A line on his marker reads: "At rest beyond the river."
    Charles G. DeVoe, another son, was born in New York in 1835 and came to Sextonville in 1850 where he died in 1905. His wife was Isabella Telfair, who was born in 1836 and their marriage took place in 1858. She died in 1921. Another member of the family was Cordelia, who was born in New York in 1832 and in 1848 married A. H. Bush. They came to Wisconsin the following year. She died at Blooming Grove, Oregon, in 1904 and was buried at Naponee, Nebraska. Irene DeVoe has a monument here even though she was buried at Turin, New York; her death taking place in 1835 when she was six years old. There are other members of the DeVoe family here. Helen, was married to Charles Thomas. She was born in 1841 and died in 1920. Mr. Thomas was born in 1835 and died in 1916. Andrew J. DeVoe, another of the clan, was born in 1837 and came to Sextonville in 1850. He was married to Oliva Bangham at Richland City in 1865 and died in Richland Center January 8, 1910. Mrs. DeVoe was a native of Michigan and came to Richland City when she was four years old. Her father was the first postmaster of Richland City. Mr. and Mrs. Andrew DeVoe were the parents of seven children, four of whom became well known in Richland Center, Fred, Charles B., Alice, who married E. H. Edwards, and Maude. Fred and Maude are buried on the lot with their parents.

                                                                      PART TWO

    The first death to take place in the town of Buena Vista was that of Philip H. Miller who passed away, November 19, 1846, at the age of 27. He was a son of Isaac and Elizabeth McCloud Miller and he died of a fever induced by exposure while hunting. He was buried near his home but the body was afterwards removed to the Sextonville cemetery. The second death was that of Mrs. Sarah Janney, a sister of Philip Miller. She died March 21, 1847, at the age of 21. She was the wife of Phineas Janney, who came here in 1846. Elizabeth Boswell McCloud, born November 17, 1775, is here buried. Jacob Krouskop, born in 1800, has a tall monument
 on his grave. He died in 1878 and his wife, Elizabeth, born in 1802 and died in 1884, is also on the lot. They were the parents of A. H. Krouskop, long identified with the business life of Richland Center and Richland county. A daughter, Cynthia, died April 18, 1855, at the age of 11 years.

    The McCloud brothers, Robert and William, came from Ohio in 1845, located at Muscoda and then came to Buena Vista in 1846. Mrs. Elizabeth McCloud, born in 1775, was the mother of Robert and William, a fine lady with an excellent memory. Her death took place at the James D. Keys home in Buena Vista. All these people, the Janneys, Krouskops, Keys and Millers were related through the McClouds. James D. Keys at whose home Mrs. Elizabeth McCloud died, was married in Ohio to Marie B. Miller, a daughter of Isaac and Elizabeth McCloud. Mr. and Mrs. James D. Keys were the parents of J. M. Keys, long identified with Richland Center. J. D. Keys was born in 1825 and died in 1901. His wife was born in 1821 and passed on in 1906. Three of their children also have markers in the Sextonville cemetery.

    James Banks, born in 1812, is here. He was 47 years of age when he died in 1859. He was a native of England and came to the Sextonville area in 1849, settling on section 31, Ithaca township. He came back to Sextonville in 1855 and opened a hotel. He also carried mail.
    Jacob Esselstyne came to Sextonville in 1849 from Ft. Atkinson, having been employed by E. M. Sexton to build him a house. He liked the new country and took up his home here. He was born in 1806 and died in 1880. His wife Sarah, was also born in 1806 and she also died in 1880.
    George Miller, one time sheriff of the county, is buried here. He died in 1938.

    Rev. J. H. McManus, born in 1853, is in this cemetery. He was retired as a pastor for some time before his death which took place in 1930. His wife, Priscilla, died the same year.

    Among the soldier dead to be buried here are James Nolan and his son, Burns. James was a veteran of the Civil War and was a member of the 19th regiment, was a prisoner for a time in a rebel stronghold and discharged in 1865. James was born in 1846 and died in 1915. Burns, the son, was born in 1890. He was a World War I veteran, reaching the rank of lst Lieutenant. He served as county superintendent of schools following the war and met his death in an auto accident July 28, 1932.     Woven into the history of the Sextonville cemetery is the life throb of the nation and the soldiers, sailors and marines who took part in the fierce and bloody wars. Many a "Boy in Blue" found the end of life's journey here. World Wars soldiers are also here in the quiet confines of this sacred spot.
    There was one brave lad, who has a monument here, that never came back home, but his memory is kept alive by the tombstone erected by his parent.
     It reads:
                "Morris Sexton
             Co. B, 20 Regt. Wis. Vol.
             Who fell at the battle of
                Prairie Grove, Ark.
                  December 7, 1862
                  Aged 22 Years
               A Brave and Gallant Soldier
                And a True Patriot."

    Morris Sexton was a son of Mr. and Mrs. E. M. Sexton and his death upon a southern battlefield was greatly mourned by them. Morris Sexton gave Richland Center as his residence when he enlisted on June 14, 1862. He was named lst Sergeant; Brevet Captain on December 7th, and was killed in action on the same date at Prairie Grove.
     There were several others from Richland county who met death in the same battle or died later at Fayetteville, Ark., from wounds received in the same battle. Byron W. Telfair, Richland Center, was a captain of this regiment at the battle. Other Richland county, Boys in Blue to meet death in this bloody fray or died of wounds received were: S. F. Curtis of West Lima; Henry Fazel, Sylvan; Samuel Marsh, Richland Center; Nathaniel S. Standish, Eagle; William A. Yakeley, West Lima.

    Roland Bush, a native of Massachusetts, was born March 12, 1793. He served in the War of 1812 and came to Richland county in 1850 where he died March 23, 1886. His wife Harriet, was born in 1796, coming to Wisconsin with her family in 1850. She passed on January 15, 1885.

    According to the records of the cemetery the following Civil War veterans are buried here. S. C. Barnett, R. D. Gibbons, C. Hoke, E. M. Sexton, Morris Sexton, B. W. Telfair, Reisen Dye, Wm. Knapp, D. Nichols, Eph Dockerty.
     J. Knapp, Thomas R. Jones, John Kuykendall, Wm. Clinton, Cornelius Lee, Albert Lee, W. A. Cooper, F. Hapgood, G. F. Jones, A. N. Bush, D. Titsworth, G. M. Hoke, Jerry Crapser, Lewis Sippy.
    Albert Brewer, John Carter, Jas. Nolan, Graves Dudley, Thomas McCarthy, Francis Harris, David Henry, Amasa Towers, Ed Bristol, Obe Driscoll, H. H. Brittian.
    Spanish-American War- Eugene Dye.
    World War I - Burns Nolan, Harold Putz, James Maly, Newton Finger.
    World War II - Lisle Hole, Marshall Tanner. Lisle Hole died in the service of his country in 1944.
    This list, cemetery officials tell us, is subject to correction and efforts are to be made to get it corrected if any errors are found.

    Walter T. Case, born in 1838, and died in 1917, is buried here. On the gravestone are the names of his three wives, Frances. 1839-1867; Mary, 1838-1867, and Mary P. 1850-1920.
    Wilhelm Schuerman, a native of Germany, was born in 1825 and died in 1902. His wife, Carolina, also a native of Germany, was born in 1822 and died in 1905. Mr. Schuerman was one of the pioneers of the county, coming here in 1850, settling on Ash Creek, later moving to section 36 in the town of Richland where he engaged in dairying, keeping about 60 cows. He manufactured creamery butter and Sap Sago. Mr. Schuerman also owned an interest in the Sextonville Mills. Their oldest son, Henry, was killed in the mills when he was about 25 years of age. It was a tragic accident.

    There is a marker here for A. J. Powers who was born on Christmas Day, l827; his wife Caroline was born in 1829. Two former officers of Richland county are buried here. Fred D. Reed, clerk of the courts, and W. A. Lawton, county clerk, not far apart. Mr. Reed was born in 1863 and died in 1923 while in office. His wife Kitty, born in 1870, died in 1920. Mr. Lawton was born in 1858 and died in 1926. His wife Lizzie, is by his side. She was born in 1858 and passed on in 1911.
    "Rebecca Cook, daughter of Rev. C. and M. Cook, died 1861" it says upon a marker. Upon another close by is engraved: "Theressa Shepard, wife of Rev. D. L. Hubbard, born March 8, 1831, married October 7, 1849, and died July 3, 1876."
    Frederick Bush, who was born in 1802, is here, his death taking place in 1861. Olive Bush Bailey, born in 1788, and died in 1862.
    Polly Gilmore was 79 years of age when she passed on November 7, 1874. This would bring her birth date in 1795. It is carved upon her tombstone "An Unblemished Christian for 51 Years."
    Prominent in the early life of the Sextonville area were members of the Irish families. Luther Irish, a member, opened the first permanent store in Sextonville, in 1851. He closed his store in 1856 with the intention of building a larger one. He went on a visit to LaCrosse Valley where he died at the age of 27. It is said that the new
 bell in the Methodist church first tolled for his funeral. Luther M. Irish, another of the clan, was born at Sextonville in 1856 and died at  Springfield, Mo., in 1890. Markers are here for Martha, M., wife of W. R. Irish, who died at Hammond, Wisconsin, in 1881, at the age of 41. One for Edna Irish who died in 1876 at the age of 76 years, and one for David Irish who died February 7, 1857, at the age of 56.

    Cornelius Lee has a flag upon his grave. He may have been a soldier in the War of 1812 as he was born in 1796 and would have been 18 years of age at that time. His wife Huldah, lived to a ripe age, being 91 years, one month and 10 days of age when she passed on in 1891, Mr. Lee is listed as a Civil War veteran; if he was he was nearing his 70th birthday, hardly possible.
    Charles Thomas, born in 1835, was one of the early settlers. He opened a store in Sextonville in 1855. A son, Berlie, died in 1860 at the age of two and his wife Helen DeVoe, died in 1920. A son Will C. died in 1933, and Timmie Atwood, Will's wife, died in 1937. Charles passed on in 1916.
    Isaac M. Clary and his wife Barbara are here. He was born in 1849 and died in 1932. His wife died in 1895 at the age of 46. On her marker it says: "As a wife, devoted, as a mother affectionate; as a friend ever kind and true."
    Rev. R. J. Peeples and his wife Adelia, are in this cemetery. He was born in 1850 and she also in 1850. He died in 1903 and his wife in 1935. On the tombstone for Rev. Peeples are these lines:
    "For he was a good man and full of the Holy Ghost and of Faith and much people was added unto the Lord."

    Franklin Nourse and his wife Hannah, are among friends of the long ago. He was born in 1830 and died in 1914, and Mrs. Nourse first saw the light of day in 1835 and her eyes closed in everlasting sleep in 1911. Franklin Nourse was a son of Mr. and Mrs. Elijah Nourse. The parents came to Wisconsin in 1839, landing in Kenosha, where their eldest son, William, died. In 1852 they came to Richland county. Franklin, a son, was born in 1830 in Vermont, and came with his parents to Wisconsin. On a visit back to his old home town in 1856 he married Hannah Fellows. They returned to Sextonville where they remained until death came. A son Frank, continued to live here until 1934, when he met death in an auto accident. His wife Eunice, born in 1868, passed on in 1955.

                                                                    PART THREE

    There is a marker for Dr. Robert Thompson, born in New York in 1864 and died in Milwaukee in 1917. A line on the stone says he was "A skilled physician for Years." On a marker nearby is engraved: "Clifford, dear son of Robert and Kate Thompson, July 19, 1892, September 5, 1896. God bless baby."

    E. M. Sexton came to the township of Ithaca in 1848 with Orrin Britton where Mr. Sexton entered a large tract of land. In the spring of 1849 Sexton and R. B. Stewart came from Jefferson county. Mr. Sexton platted the village of Sextonville in 1851 and a thriving village came into being. Mr. Sexton opened a hotel in the village. He was a popular landlord and his hotel did a thriving business. He also erected a sawmill in 1851 which for years awoke the neighborhood with its loud hum. Jacob Krouskop later bought the property. A post office was established at Sextonville in 1849 and E. M. handled the mail.
    In 1854, Mr. Sexton and R. B. Stewart platted the village of Loyd. Mr. Sexton made Sextonville his home for several years, serving as county treasurer for a time. He moved to Barron county, but in 1876 came back on a visit. Sick at the time he told his friends that he came back to die, which he did on March 1, 1876, at the age of 62. In addition to his active life he was a lawyer and devoted some of his time to the practice of law, but, history states he had but a meager business.
    Known far and wide as E. M. Sexton his monument in the cemetery proclaims his given name Ebenezer and no doubt his schoolmates shorted it down to "Eb".
     The McCarthy family has some of its members here. Thomas, born in 1844 and his wife Laura, born in 1841, are here as is a daughter Nellie, who died in 1876 at the age of two years. Nellie was known by her parents as "Gypsie." Ada, another daughter, died in 1948. Other members of the family Dr. H. C. McCarthy, Dr. Earl, and their sister Edith, are buried in the Richland Center cemetery. Mrs. Thomas McCarthy and her daughter Ada, were school teachers in the days gone by and a fitting monument to them is the new Jefferson school house in Richland Center which stands upon the site of their home for many years, on North Main street.

    We move on to the graves of some of the Eastland folks, early settlers of the Sextonville area. Shepherd Eastland seems to be the oldest of the clan buried here. He was born, his tombstone says, on October 17, 1787, and died in 1867. Mary, his wife, was born in September, 1790, and died in 1877. H. A. Eastland, born in New York state April 4, 1816, was an attorney and came to Sextonville and hung out his shingle in 1851, moving to Richland Center some ten years later where be remained. He was married in 1851 to Mrs. Isabelle Pierce. She was born in 1819 and died in 1900. Mr. Eastland died in 1896. They had two children, Kirk W. and H. W., both of whom became lawyers and practiced in Richland Center. Kirk was born in 1852 and died in 1908. H. W. Eastland was known as "Hal" though his name upon the tombstone is Harold. James E. Eastland is another member of the clan buried here. He died November 14, 1901, at the age of 91 years, 6 months and 16 days. His wife died in 1886 at the age of 74. D. J. Eastland is also buried here. He was born in 1814 and died in 1894; and the last of his clan to find rest here was Fred Eastland, born in 1863 and died in 1945.
    Arvin Burnham was born in 1805, married in 1840, moved to Sextonville in 1853, coming from Connecticut, and died in May of 1889. His wife Harriet, was born in 1806 and died in 1880. Nehemiah Burnham, born in 1841, died in 1917, and his wife Hannah, born in 1847, passed on in 1886.
    Peter A. Mickle is in this cemetery. He was born in 1829 and died in 1895. He is pictured on old photos taken at the time that the steam engine to he used on the railroad was being hauled by team and wagons from Lone Rock to Richland Center. A picture was taken of the engine in front of the post office at Sextonville. Peter is in this picture; the large man with patches on his overalls. His wife was the widow of Luther Irish, who was the first permanent storekeeper in Sextonville.
    Several members of the McCorkle family, besides those already mentioned are buried here. William McCorkle, born in 1819 and Harriet, his wife, born in 1835. At an early age he became a sailor, became a whale hunter and sailed around the world six times and was once wrecked on the coast of South America. He became a captain. Giving up life on the seven seas he moved to Sextonville in 1857 where he went into business having the firm name of McCorkle & Thomas. He was married in 1856 to Harriet Toping, born in 1835. She died in 1922 and her husband in 1890.
    The McCollum family, long identified with business life in the county, has members buried here. The eldest is Dr. Asa McCollum, born in 1801. His native state was Massachusetts, and it was the birthplace of his wife, Hadassop, who was born in 1802. Dr. McCollum passed on in 1891 and his wife in 1897. He was the first doctor in Sextonville, coming there in 1851 where he practiced for many years, also operated a drug store which he purchased in 1858. A son J. R. L. McCollum is here buried as is also another son, Lewis. A stone for Van Buren McCollum, spoken of elsewhere, is here. It says Van Buren was buried at Duncan Mills, California. J. L. R. McCollum was but nine years old when his parents came to Richland county. He was one of the first graduates of the Sextonville high school. He was engaged in the mercantile business near Sextonville with A. H. Krouskop when he was 21 years of age. He was married in 1864 to Eliza Krouskop. They were the parents of these children, Charles, Dock, and Elmer. Mr. McCollum served in the state assembly in 1875. He died in 1931 and his wife in 1926.
     Mitchell Harris has a marker on his grave which says his passing "brings a new thought of love and understanding."

    B. W. Telfair was a lawyer by profession, coming from New York to Sextonville in 1854 and he practiced law until going into service. He was a captain of Co. B, 20th Regt. and one of his company was Morris Sexton, who met death at Prairie Grove, Ark. A marker for each is in the Sextonville cemetery. Mr. Telfair died in 1872. He was survived by his wife and a child, who moved to the northern part of the state to make their home. When Mr. Telfair enlisted he gave his address as Richland Center. He served as captain until Sept. 10, 1863, when, on account of disability he was discharged. His place as captain of Co. B was taken by Emory F. Stone of Sun Prairie, who died April 1, 1865, at New Orleans, as the result of wounds received at Spanish Fort. Many Richland county men were members of Co. B, and a number of them like M. E. Sexton, never came home but they found rest beneath the sod in a cemetery in the deep south.

    The William and Joseph Irish families have members buried here. Joseph Irish came from New York state in 1852. He taught school for a time, was elected as county surveyor, and it was he who surveyed the cemetery back in 1852. He later entered the ministry. He moved to St. Croix county in 1860 and while living there was elected state senator and in 1883 was tendered the appointment of Minister to France, but declined. William Irish came in 1854, residing in the Sextonville area for a number of years. He also became a Methodist minister.

    Several of the men who helped in organizing the town of Ithaca are buried in this cemetery. The town was organized in 1856 and among the officers chosen at that time were Luther Irish, clerk, James Boyd, treasurer. For some reason or other three assessors were elected, Joseph Post, buried here was one of them.

    One may wonder why Sextonville is here spoken of as being in the town of Ithaca. Back in the "early days" the village was in Ithaca, the township at that time extended south from the present town line and when the town was made to conform with others in the county the line was changed so that Sextonville is now in the town of Buena Vista.

    Sextonville was a very important point back in the days of E. M. Sexton. The first high school in the county was established here in the year of 1860. Prof Henry W. Glasier was head of the school. Many of the boys and girls who attended the school have found everlasting rest in the Sextonville burying ground and marble and granite stones mark the spots.

    It is a far cry from "away back, when" to the present day. Wouldn't Mrs. George Reed, the first person to be buried in the cemetery, wonder over present day events. And wonder too would come to James McCorkle who was killed by a whale in the Sea of Japan May 25, 1848. A marker for him is here, though his body was never recovered. Wouldn't he wonder if he learned that in the cemetery are those who were killed by auto accidents. He would wonder what an auto was. He certainly would be surprised if he learned that Dr. Walker, also buried here, met death in an airplane crash. The world moves.

S. F.

                                                              Go Back  to This Cemetery's Main Page